Exactly 20 years after the premiere of the teen comedy “Mean Girls”, which in Portuguese received the fearsome translation “Cute and Terrible”, we return to the world of student groups created by Tina Fey. This time we preserved the original title in national distribution. As for the soul of this cult youth film, we don’t find it anywhere.
Big caveat number one: the last remake of the movie “Mean Girls” has two main objectives. Adapt the original story for a new generation (Z) and take the Broadway stages for movie theaters musical version of this story. Now, we know that any impressions about cinema, pop culture and entertainment are always subjective. But in this case, my subjectivity is glaring. As a Millennial, 11 years old when the original film premiered, I fit into a specific demographic for this premiere – one that will see it for pure nostalgia and I miss one of the most fun, ironic and enduring youth stories zeitgeist.
A GAME OF COMPARISONS WITH MEAN GIRLS (2004) IN CONSTANT FOREGROUND
For this demographic, any new version of the film, whether the terrible “Mean Girls 2” that we refuse to talk about, and that did not even involve the involvement of Tina Fey, or this new remake, will suffer from the weight of constant frenzied comparison. For the new age group that will be able to discover the story, the jokes will be heard for the first time and everything could, potentially, be new. However, faced with the incessant repetition of intellectual properties, we never stop asking ourselves: is something actually added to the original? Would the new generations be better served with the 2004 feature film?
It’s not that the 2024 version is devoid of humor. Certain additions to the argument end up giving it an air of grace. And, in reality, Fey’s story shines much brighter when it doesn’t try to endlessly pay homage to the 2004 film. For during the overwhelming majority of this overlong teenage narrative (at the 1:52 mark), we are thrown dozens of “callbacks” or wink at the version starring lindsay lohan. From a special cameo to the repetition of iconic phrases like “You Go Glen Coco” (Strength, Glen Coco), “She doesn’t even go here” (She doesn’t even walk here), “On Wednesdays we wear pink” (On Wednesdays we wear pink) or “On October 3rd he asked me what day it was” (On October 3rd he asked me what day it was), there is a particular emphasis on the return to everything that made the first film a pop culture symbol.
However, as the English saying tells us ““Lightning never strikes the same place twice” (the same lightning never strikes twice in the same place), the jokes are temporally connected to the original version of this cinematographic creation. A true remake would create new jokesinstead of constantly alluding to the “fetch”“groove” and all other elements already known. “Mean Girls” (2024) becomes self-referential with great frequency, all that is left is to name the original film by its name.
As if it were simultaneously a remake and a sequel, a “requel” or “requel”, similar to the term parodied by 2022’s “Scream”this new “Mean Girls” maintains the overwhelming majority of the original characters from 2004, with new performers, of course, but continues with Tina Fey as Ms. Norbury It is Tim Meadows as Mr. Duvall. This isolated return ends up elevating Duvall and Norbury to the category of time travelers. While Cady, Gretchen, Karen, Regina, Damien, Janis and company remain in adolescence, Fey and Meadows’ characters see evolution in their respective narrative lines. In this way, a certain ghostly sensation takes hold.
BRIEF UPDATE IN 2024 VERSION
Cady (Angourie Rice) continues to come from Africa, with his mother, this time played by Jenna Fischer (“The Office”), to discover that the real jungle is rather the high school stage in the United States, where groups multiply and where navigating adolescence is nothing more than a game of popularity. There, on his first day, he met the friendly Damian (Jaquel Spivey) It is Janis (Auli’i Cravalhothe voice of “Moana”). As the new girl at school, Cady is a mystery and ends up attracting the attention of the school’s most iconic group, “The Plastics”. Karen Shetty (Avantika), Gretchen Wieners (Bebe Wood) It is Regina George (Reneé Rapp). In high school, Cady, an innocent girl who was raised only with her mother, quickly learns what intrigue games are, ironically proving that bad behavior acquired in a group can easily distort even the most virtuous of people.
In this update, “As Plásticas” does not reach the same level of deification by its peers, reflecting the culture of fragmentation and fragile notions of popularity that are asserted. Furthermore, “Janis’s” big secret, her queerness, It is also modified slightly so that jealousy and insecurity are the main locomotion for the ongoing revenge games. Apart from other very brief changes, the fact that this version is a musical It’s really what sets it apart.
Recently, the musicals have been very poorly received in the North American domestic market. In this way, it is common for films to be promoted with almost no allusions to their all-singing, all-dancing nature. It happened to “Wonka”, just last month, and now with “Mean Girls”. Perhaps a mistake, as this is the true reason for the existence of the new interpretation. Produced by the ‘boss’ of the sketch show “Saturday Night Live”, Lorne Michealsalso producer of this film, original musical reached the theater in 2017 and Broadway in 2008 with writing Tina Fey, song lyrics by Nell Benjamin and music by Jeff Richmond. It was exactly Renee Rapp one of Regina George’s performers in this stage version, reprising this role here.
THE PERFECT CASTING – RENEÉ RAPP DOESN’T LET REGINA GEORGE LOOK BAD
A rising pop star and a powerhouse in the series “The Sex Lives of College Girls” (in Mindy Kaling), Renee Rapp is the unequivocal big star of this new version and the reason why the film is even worth seeing. In fact, it would have been interesting to argument much more removed from the original and focused rather on the antagonist of the story, who has always been the most enigmatic among the others. Unlike the other figures, who live in the shadow of the original, Rapp gives his personal touch to Regina and loses nothing when compared to the interpretation of Rachel McAdams.
While the musical numbers are not memorable, far from it, it is Regina’s, such as her opening performance or her performance at the Halloween party, that stay with us, even if for brief moments. Also noteworthy is the song “Apex Predator”, not played by Regina but about her and which contributed to the sarcastic humor about high school dynamics. Do we think “Mean Girls (2024)” really needed to exist? Not really, this “cinematic universe” is saturated like so many others. If we have to praise something? Without a doubt Rapp.
“Mean Girls”, in its musical version, arrived in national cinemas on January 11, 2024 by NOS Audiovisuais.
Mean Girls, the Review
Movie title: Mean Girls
Movie description: From the comedic mind of Tina Fey comes a new version of the modern classic MEAN GIRLS. New student Cady Heron (Angourie Rice) is welcomed to the top of the social food chain by the elite group of popular girls, nicknamed “The Plastics,” led by the queen bee of intrigue, Regina George (Reneé Rapp). and her lackeys Gretchen (Bebe Wood) and Karen (Avantika). But when Cady makes the terrible mistake of falling in love with Regina’s ex-boyfriend, Aaron Samuels (Christopher Briney), she is immediately in Regina’s sights. However, determined to take down the predator and leader of the group, Cady, with the help of her outcast friends Janis (Auli’i Cravalho) and Damian (Jaquel Spivey), ends up having to learn that the best thing is to be true to yourself. , all while trying to survive the cruelest jungle of all: high school.
Date published: January 15, 2024
Author: Tina Fey
Director(s): Samantha Jayne, Arturo Perez Jr.
Actor(s): Reneé Rapp, Angourie Rice, Auli’i Cravalho, Tina Fey,
Genre: Comedy, Music
In 2024 “Mean Girls” presents a new version, the stage musical that has existed since 2017. This twist could be enough to change the rules of the game, but Tina Fey keeps the script too close to the original and is unable to not get lost in the game of comparisons.
- Reneé Rapp is an excellent Regina George;
- Certain components of the argument update allow identification by the younger generation.
- “Mean Girls” (2024) does not depart from the original and pays homage to it every second.
- New interpreters inhabit the roles partially, with a clear shadow of the past.
- The musical numbers are passable, but anything but thunderous.